Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama

Dharamsala: Four Nobel Peace laureates will attend a programme here next month to mark the silver jubilee of the conferment of the Nobel Prize on Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, a statement said Monday.

The programme, being organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Oct 2, will be attended by Nobel laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman.

It said the event is occasioned on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, himself a proponent of peace and non-violence.

“The gathering of Nobel laureates symbolises their support and appreciation for the Dalai Lama’s tireless efforts towards his three main commitments: the promotion of human values, inter-religious harmony and the preservation of Tibetan culture,” the statement said.

The CTA is celebrating events across the world to celebrate “2014 Year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama”. These will conclude with a key event Dec 10, the day the Nobel Peace Prize was conferred on him.

In 1989, the Dalai Lama, who has been living in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959, was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for his homeland.

In May this year, the globetrotting monk was invited to the Nobel Institute in Oslo to mark the 25th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize.

Chairman of the Nobel Committee Thorbjrn Jagland, who introduced the Dalai Lama to members of the committee, said: “It is 25 years since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Committee still has one member from that time.”

Jagland said the Dalai Lama was awarded the prize in recognition of his efforts to bring freedom to the Tibetan people through non-violence and his concern for the natural environment.

“You are a man of peace, a religious leader worth listening to, and someone worth speaking to,” he said.

The Dalai Lama during his visit to the Nobel Institute May 8 said he was in California when he heard the announcement.

Asked about how he felt hearing the news, he said: “I said…not much different. I am a simple Buddhist monk, no more, no less. But since the prize was in recognition of my commitment to non-violence and my work for peace, I felt it was a great honour.”

“Later, when Aung San Suu Kyi and Liu Xiaobo were awarded the Peace prize and they were in difficult circumstances, I felt it would have been a source of encouragement and inspiration for them.”

The Dalai Lama, who has spoken in favour of “greater autonomy” for Tibet from China rather than complete independence, described conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on him as a blessing for him.

“Of course, as a blessing. I remember Archbishop Desmond Tutu, my friend and spiritual brother, telling me how difficult it was for him to meet some people before, which became much easier after he was awarded the prize,” he said in Oslo.

The CTA is based in this northern Indian hill town.

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Free Press Journal